Adam Webster: Shane Duffy return has given Brighton same energy as a new signing

Defender Duffy’s powerful header set Brighton on course for Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Watford

Nick Purewal
Sunday 22 August 2021 10:11
Shane Duffy has been praised for acting like a new signing on his Brighton return (Kieran Cleeves/PA)
Shane Duffy has been praised for acting like a new signing on his Brighton return (Kieran Cleeves/PA)

Adam Webster has hailed team-mate Shane Duffy’s new lease of life as handing Brighton the same energy as a new signing.

Defender Duffy’s powerful header set Brighton on course for Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Watford with the Seagulls starting a top-flight season with back-to-back wins for the first time.

Duffy endured a troubled loan spell at Celtic last term, but the 29-year-old has jumped at the chance to fill the void left by Ben White’s £50million Arsenal switch, and cemented his resurgence in the commanding win over Watford.

“He’s done a lot for this football club and it’s nice to see him back and playing well,” Webster said of Duffy on the club’s official website.

“You could see in the celebrations that everyone was absolutely buzzing for Shane, he’s such a great character.

“As soon as he came back in this season it was like he was a new signing.

“He’s started really well and is playing with a lot of confidence.”

Webster, Duffy and captain Lewis Dunk stayed calm and composed throughout Brighton’s impressive Amex Stadium win, where Neal Maupay also hit the net.

The French striker trudged off at half-time with a shoulder complaint, but Webster hailed the 25-year-old’s cool finish.

“He deserved his goal, he does a lot for the team and leads the line well,” Webster said.

“Sometimes those positions can be trickier than they look when you’re one against one with the keeper.

“Last season we tended to struggle against the teams people thought we should be beating.

“You don’t get any easy games in the Premier League and it’s a really good start for us.

“At times we had to dig in, they made it harder for us in the second half.

“You can’t be complacent in this league because as soon as you are you get punished, and you end up losing matches. The gaffer has drilled that into us.”

Brighton shocked Watford with their aggressive approach from the off, to the extent that the Hornets never found their poise.

Xisco Munoz’s side were unable to build on their opening-weekend win over Aston Villa, struggling in the first half with Brighton’s superior tactical set-up.

Defender William Troost-Ekong admitted the Hornets paid the price for their slow start.

“From the kick-off there was an interception, so that wasn’t a great start and we played into their hands,” Troost-Ekong told Watford’s official club website.

“Against a good team like Brighton when they get going you’re going to have to climb quite a big mountain to get back into the game.

“In the second half we changed formation and it worked much better for us.

“We were on the ball much better and we were all of a sudden dangerous again.

“We have to learn from going behind first and going through all of that before doing things right.”